Going for Oysters
Omnibus Books, 1994
5-8yrs, Lower Primary, Primary
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- Adventure stories
- Aurukun (Qld NW Cape York SD54-07)
- Cape York Peninsula (Qld SC54, SD54, SD55)
- Indigenous knowledge
- Social life and customs
- Wik Mungkan people (Y57) (Qld SD54-07)
'Going for Oysters' vividly tells of a young Aurukun girl’s adventure with family and friends to find and feast upon oysters, when the season brings them into abundance. Writer and illustrator Jeanie Adams (although not an Indigenous person herself), immediately establishes a feeling of intimacy and trust between teller and audience. Set on Cape York Peninsula’s Love River, Adams weaves traditional Indigenous knowledge, and respect for places of secret meaning, with a child’s story of adventure and discovery. Author Adams uses the voice of Aurukun storytellers, an approach endorsed by the Aurukun community as an authentic portrayal of their lifestyle.
Visiting traditional gathering grounds is not without responsibility, and the narrator’s grandfather warns the children of straying if they are to avoid both quicksand, and the story place of the Carpet Snake, Yaatamay. The story also touches on traditional family links and structures without didactically explaining systems. (Readers might compare their own family structures).
Jeanie Adams’ illustrations deploy watercolour and wax crayon, lending both immediacy and subtle textures to a series of vivid, expressive scenes. 'Going for Oysters' celebrates traditional Indigenous lifestyle in a book that is itself of enduring value.
Available in Wik Mungkan language
- Kirkus Reviews 'Going for Oysters' by Jeanie Adams 1 Oct 1993 https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/jeanie-adams/going-for-oysters/
- Queensland Health Dept "Healthy jarjums make healthy food choices' relating books to food https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0029/426269/jarjums-sect5-res.pdf
- Queensland Museum 'INDIGENOUS SCIENCE: SHELL MIDDENS AND FISH TRAPS' https://blog.qm.qld.gov.au/2012/10/08/indigenous-science-shell-middens-and-fish-traps/
- ABC North Queensland 2 August 2010 Jeanie Adams 'Ten years of Black Ink' https://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2010/08/02/2971076.htm